Sanders PLLC Clients Prevail on Appeal

Sanders PLLC is pleased to announce that it secured a victory on appeal for its clients in an oil and gas royalty title dispute. The firm’s clients prevailed in the trial court in 2020, and the losing parties appealed the decision. Firm founder Michael Sanders represented over a dozen members of an extended family in Denbury Onshore, LLC v. Ronald D. Smith and Kimberly Smith et al., which was tried in the 239th Judicial District Court of Brazoria County. See here for our previous post on the case details. 

In the lawsuit, the parties asserted opposing title claims to royalty interests in Brazoria County. The case centered on the interpretation of instruments in the parties’ chains of title. The trial court entered a judgment in favor of Sanders PLLC’s clients.   

On appeal by the defeated parties, the Fourteenth Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s decision. The Court of Appeals found that the trial court had correctly determined the ownership of the royalty interests. After the Fourteenth Court of Appeals denied the appellants’ motion for rehearing, they asked the Supreme Court of Texas to hear the case. The Texas Supreme Court denied the appellants’ petition for review and recently refused to reconsider the denial, which means the decisions of the trial court and the Fourteenth Court of Appeals stand.  

Firm founder Michael Sanders said that he is very pleased to have helped the firm’s clients get a resolution of a longstanding family dispute. The firm’s clients were happy to see a successful ending to the case, which had been pending since 2016. 

Mr. Sanders often litigates oil and gas title lawsuits, but he is also available to mediate or arbitrate title disputes. He can be contacted at 713-338-2677 or For more information about Michael Sanders, please see his bio on the firm’s website.